Morgan - Place not assured
Eoin Morgan is refusing to take his place in the England side for granted, despite his record-breaking innings at the Wanderers.
Last Updated: 14/11/09 2:00pm
England batsman Eoin Morgan is refusing to take his place in the national side for granted, despite his record-breaking innings in the opening Twenty20 international against South Africa.
The Middlesex all-rounder cracked a scintillating 85 off just 45 balls on Friday night, the highest individual Twenty20 score by an England player in what was just his second international appearance in the shortest form of the game.
His innings propelled England towards 202-6 at the Wanderers - another record total - before rain in the latter half of the match ensured South Africa were left stranded one run behind the par Duckworth-Lewis total.
Yet, despite his heroics, Morgan still believes he has some way to go before he can be recognised as a first-team regular.
Speaking on his innings, which included five sixes and seven fours, Morgan said: "I think it's contributed towards it (establishing a place in the team). Again, I think I'm far from cementing my place in the side.
"It's a building block towards where I want to be, but I was certainly happy with the way I did play.
"But I've only played a handful of games and I've still a long way to go."
The second and final Twenty20 match of the series will be played at Centurion on Sunday before the sides contest five one-dayers and a four-match Test series.
The Middlesex batsman trained with the rest of his team at the ground on Saturday, but there were three notable absentees in Paul Collingwood, James Anderson and Graeme Swann.
The captain sat out practice as a precaution after waking up with a stiff back following his half-century the previous night, while Anderson - who missed England's final warm-up game against South Africa A due to soreness in his right knee - was also given time off alongside Swann (side).
It will take something very serious to keep Morgan out of Sunday's game however, and the 23-year-old believes the Johannesburg victory came as a massive boost for everyone in the England camp.
Asked if the victory had a positive psychological effect, the unorthodox left-hander said: "Yeah, I think so. It was obviously a good game of cricket and very exciting.
"We've certainly put a positive slant on the series to come with the way we batted, the way we bowled and the way we fielded."